Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas Everyone! What a beautiful day, we are so blessed!

Last night we were invited to a good friends home to celebrate and enjoy some wonderful company, fabulous food and have an all-around great time. And that we did . . . thank you Carol & George for your hospitality and generosity, but most of all your friendship!

The menu included lasagna, beef brisket (Carol's mom made), oyster stew, baked potatoes and sweet potatoes, egg roll type dumplings (very delicious!), cheeses, spreads & dips of all kinds, shrimp, crackers and of course excellent deserts: Monkey bread, and cookies galore! What a spread!

One thing I regret is not having my camera for some great pictures to share of all the fun and laughter.

Blessings to all!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

I entered my first art show on Friday, November 23rd, "Black Friday." It has been 40 years since I last exhibited my artwork. Wow, I didn't realize just how long it had been, seems like it was yesterday. It was a slow night at the Art Center, not much people traffic coming in off the street. I had a few good friends stop by, one brought her sister and the other brought a neighbor friend. It was really nice to see all of them and I enjoyed taking them around a portion of the show. The show will be running until December 31st and I'm hoping it does well, and hoping also that all three of my paintings sell.

I picked up my issue Artful Blogging magazine yesterday and finally had a chance to sit down with it this afternoon. I always begin with the letter from the editor, Jennifer. She mentioned a question from last quarter's issue, which by the way was sold out and I never got a copy. Sorry, the question: Why do I blog? Well, that's a good question. I had to think about that for a bit. I opened up my blog and looked through its entries which revealed my answer. I blog to share myself, my artwork; there is a need for me to share it. I want others to see it and enjoy it. I love posting a painting as soon as I finish it for all to see, critique and comment.

I would love to write a small blurb about my blogging experience and share my paintings with the outside world and someday I just might if I get up enough nerve.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Well the treck in getting greeting cards produced is turning out to be a challenge. Proofs arived on Wednesday delivered by Fedex, however I never realized they were delivered becaused the Fedex person left them laying on my top front porch step. Get this we have a side covered porch where Fedex always leaves or picks up my packages, and can't for the life of me figure out why they would all of a sudden leave a package there—oh well at least I got it right!

I opened up the greeting card proofs and was very surprised. The color was beautiful and the looked fabulous, but I was a little disappointed in the overall look of the card because of a slight glossy look and feel which is not what I expected. However, they are lovely and suitable for framing.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Have a couple of new snowmen for this year's series, with another in the works. I hope you like them!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Good evening!  How was your day? 

Mine was pretty intense for awhile. I finally gathered all the digital scans of my watercolors and prepared them to send off to be copyrighted. That was quite an experience but I made my way through it after two hours trying to figure out all of the computer particulars—exhausting to say the least, and I'm even pretty well educated in the computer. Thank goodness that is done, at least until the next batch. Hopefully I will remember not to make the same mistake I did this time . . . UG!

I have finally had the opportunity to finish reading last quarter's "Artful Blogging" magazine. I have been so busy painting that I haven't had time to read. I love Artful Blogging, the articles are not only inspiring and encouraging, they're beautiful. The whole magazine is lovely, well put together, and has an elegant classy feel. Being a retired graphic artist, I appreciate this type of magazine because I know what goes into putting a quality magazine together.

I am going to start a new series in watercolor of my favorite birds, as a matter of fact I finished one which is featured in my last post—Mrs. Cardinal. The next bird will be a surprise so keep checking back in. Thanks for visiting! Have a blessed weekend!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

I have been working on this watercolor for quite some time and finally had an opportunity to finish it over the past two weeks while working at the Emlenton Mill as their resident artist.

What a wonderful experience being able to paint with no interruptions and in such a cool historical setting. If you have an opportunity to visit the Creamery your tummy will thank you. The ice cream is delicious and they have a new pizza shop on the Main street level!

The owners and manager are working to turn the mill into a touring museum, adding a gift shop and possible gallery in the future. I hope you will be able to visit! I will be doing a show October 6th and 13th. I'm excited and hope to see you there!


Friday, August 31, 2012

We are members of a couples Bible study that we've belonged to now for about 15 years. One of the couples is leaving due to a new job out of state. We are very sad to see them leaving but hope the very best for them. I am not one for saying good-byes and this couple will truly be missed.

I remembered a book that we both read "Some Wildflower in My Heart" by Jamie Langston Turner. One of the main characters is Birdie Freeman, a remarkable character. Birdie became a common thread between us, Pam even had the same job that Birdie has in the book. She's not far off from Birdie's personality either.  So what better gift to give than one of my watercolor snowmen, she's a snowlady actually, and represents Birdie Freeman and is holding a wildflower, a Cosmos.

Pam is an incredible person, and she mirrors Birdie Freeman in her walk with the Lord. I am really sad to see her and Dave leave.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Okay the "Bee Man" came this evening, assessed the bee situation, found their nest at the top of a snapped-off cherry tree in our back yard. He felt it would be best to leave one of his hives here, baited to entice the queen and her drones out of the nest and into the hive. He took my hummingbird feeder covered with honey bees to the hive and shook them into it. "Yum" they said and moved in. He hung the feed back up and gathered another swarm and shook them into the hive as well. Now we are hoping the rest of bee clan will find their new hive and move on in. Here is a picture of the bees starting to congregate on my hummer feeder. Man am I glad that is taken care of. The only down side is I can't put my hummingbird feeder back out for a couple of days, I hope my 35 to 40 hummers don't leave permanently. I'll be bummed!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Yesterday evening we had the surprise of our lives . . . I went to step out onto our porch to enjoy a cup a coffee and hundreds of honey bees were latched onto my two-cup hummingbird feeder! They were buzzing too and fro. I ran back into the house to fetch my hubby and we watched from door discussing what to do. The poor hummingbirds couldn't even get near it to get a nourishing drink. Finally I realized the water hose was close by. So I handed the hose over the railing to my husband and said when I get to the top step spray the feeder and I'll rush and get it and bring it in the house. It worked successfully and after awhile the bees left and I put the feeder back out until it got dark. I put the feeder back out this morning and by the time we got home at 4 p.m. the bees were back in full force and the feeder was completely cover. We went through the whole process again, however, what to do about it permanently.

In the twenty years we have lived here there hasn't been even one honey bee interested in our feeder, I don't get it . . . did they just now discover this treasure house sweetness or are they traveling bees from a near by farm. Hard to say, but my hummingbirds are not happy and neither am I and need a solution without harming the honey bees. Honey bees are dying off and I really don't want to add to their demise. Any suggestions out there?

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Sunday my husband and I went to Emlenton Mill, an old grist mill that is in the process of being restored and renovated. We specifically went to try out the creamery inside the mill for a taste of their ice cream. Well let me tell you it was wonderful! I had a Rocky Mountain Raspberry and my husband had Blackberry . . . one word—DELICIOUS!

While there we had an opportunity to speak with the manager, Julie, and talk about the history of the mill, what the owners, the Newbury family, have accomplished as well as future plans for the mill. I am really excited to see all of their plans come to fruition especially in these times of economic stress. This restoration not only preserves history and part of Pennsylvania heritage, but it has the possibility to revitalize this small community once again to become a wonderful place to bring your family for vacation and learn a small part of American history and Pennsylvania culture, not to mention their coal and oil industries.

I have hopes that Emlenton's residents and business owners have an eye for the future and want to see their community growing once again boasting it's beautiful scenic landscapes, lovely victorian homes, and its historical buildings and culture. There are so many small communities in our country that were rich in heritage that have gone by the wayside—its such a shame.

I grew up in a thriving fishing community, a very historical area and I watched it start to deteriorate when the malls began to build up out side the city. But the chamber and landlords of the empty stores got together and did something miraculous! They got some grant money to restore their much needed brick sidewalks and beautified the park and spruced up everywhere. The landlords also did renovations and offered three months free rent to potential new specialty shop businesses. They had a wonderful stationery shop, wooden toy store, Irish goods shop just to name only a few of the many little shops. Local artists also participated and collectively rented a store front for a gallery. It worked! This was more than 25 years ago and today it is still thriving and has become one of the finest tourist communities in the United States.

The key to this type of success? Is the community itself, and their willingness to work together to save their town or city. It takes strength, courage and love of their country. There is no room for narrow mindedness—our country wouldn't have survived and become the greatest nation if our forefathers had not been united, displayed a strong in faith in God, had courage to take a risk and give up everything they had. Look around we still have liberty, justice and freedom!  

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Hello Friends!

Have a few of bookmarks to share with you I just finished. I get so much enjoyment out of painting, it does something for my soul that words just don't seem fit to describe. "Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life." This anonymous quote has taken perfect seating in my studio. I found a rubber stamp with this quote on it in Hobby Lobby several years ago and began stamping it on the backs of my watercolors that are given as gifts. I do this because what ever the receiver is going through I am hoping that my watercolor does just that—wash away from their soul the dust of everyday life!

I am considering doing a small watercolor demonstration day at a local establishment. I am of course just in the planning stages at this point. I need to talk to the managers of the two places I am looking at to see if it is even possible. I'm a little nervous but sure it work out if it is meant to be.

May you day be blessed beyond measure!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Is anyone feeling like me . . . troubled about the direction this country has headed the past 4 years? Is there anyone . . . I hope so. I sure would like to hear from you. We are losing our freedom, our liberties, our country! Does anyone care? Please tell me! Because it certainly appears the opposite. I hear people screaming from the conservative side but we are being ignored. Doesn't that scare you? It scares me!

My husband and I are both working, my job, however, ended when school ended—I'm a school bus driver and a freelance watercolor artist. This puts us in a more dire straights situation. I can't imagine how couples with children are making it. I am struggling to pay bills and buy food and there is just the two of us. What is wrong with this picture! Although gas prices have more recently come down, the previous sky-high prices caused not just food prices to skyrocket, but just about everything else as well. This cannot continue to go on or it is going to kill every household in this country. I believe that is what the white is trying to do . . . make us all dependent on them and lose all we own. We are being bled dry. Please wake up America, Please! We cannot afford to allow this country to go down the tubes. This country was once the greatest place to be, and it still is, trust me, but it is headed for desaster. I have traveled to third world countries on missions trips—people are fighting to get to this country for its freedom. Do you see anyone rushing to leave to here? Of course not! This president and his stategically placed friends are deliberately destroying this nation, pitting us against one another, trust me those who do have money have worked hard for every cent they have earned. Without the so-called wealthy people who sign our paychecks, who provide jobs and opportunities for us to also become successful there would be no jobs, no products, etc. If this nation continues to slide beyond recovery we will no longer be able to survive as a free nation, we will be vulnerable to invasion and possible take over by some other country. Is that what you want? No I don't, I like being free, free to worship, free to work when and where I want, the list goes on.

These people who are trying to bring this county down are succeeding and will succeed if we don't stop them.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

This is what is great about blogging . . . sharing the joy in your day to day life experiences! This past week we were in Jensen Beach Florida for vacation visiting with my sister and brother-in-law. I haven't seen my sister for three years and it was so nice just to give her a hug and enjoy her much needed company. You know how that is, when you're close to someone and haven't seen them for a long time. you just want to surround yourself with them because you know it will end all too soon. Also had a chance to spend a little time with my nephew Jeremy and his wife Lindsay and their not quite-2 year old daughter, Hanna. What a cutie patootie! Here is a picture of her and my sister's hubby sharing animal crackers.

I don't have any scenic pictures because my camera died right after taking this set of photos. Disappointing, but that's okay, next time. I would have loved for you to see the ocean and pier which is directly across the street from where my sister is living. It is just beautiful, they have a great spot. Lots to do around that area too. We went on a wonderful river walk in Stuart, Florida and a drive up to Fort Pierce (lovely little town and great place to vacation)!

I got a great tan from going to the pool each day and relaxing on the pier. Overall it was a fabulous vacation! I got to visit with my family and enjoy the beautiful Florida weather too!

On the drive home we stopped in Georgia for some wonderful Georgia peaches. We also stopped at the Tammarack Artist Center in West Virginia. If you're ever heading south or north on I-77, make sure you stop and visit this place, it is awesome! I picked up a hand-blown glass flower and an item that resembles a Hershey's kiss. Right after we left Tammarack we headed into some severe thunderstorms with wind gusts of 60 mph. Pretty nasty driving that's for sure, but we made it through and home safely. Thank You Lord!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Good day everyone!
I had a small amount of time this morning waiting for a friend I was meeting for breakfast. During that time I put in the bonus CD that came with Sara Groves Invisible Empires CD. It was a joy to listen as Sara and her husband Troy talked about each song on the CD and what prompted Sara to write each one. I just love Sara Groves and her music, it invokes so many emotions, memories and thoughts in me of struggles, trials, joys and laughter. It made me think about where I am a this present time and where I would be if I hadn't listened to the Lord and took the path He laid out before me. I could have ignored His nudging to get back into painting and gone my own way, but I didn't. And I am grateful, so grateful! I want to stay on the path the Lord has given me—neither turning to the right or to the left, but straight ahead, eyes focused on Him.

Thank you Sara Groves for this incredible CD!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Hi Everyone! Another gorgeous day here in western PA. Air was a little chilly but the sun was bright and beautiful! It is Easter Sunday, the day to celebrate the risen Lord Jesus Christ who took our place on the cross that we can have eternal life through Him.

Until we come to the end of ourselves and realize we can do nothing apart from Christ, we are just floundering like a fish out water. Sure we can physically do things but they hold no heavenly value or earthly value. But when we surrender ourselves to Him who gave us life, and give Him control then we are really free . . . free to serve, free to worship, free to love, and to be transformed into His likeness!

Have another painting to share with you, my first horse. The story behind the horse is pretty amazing. I was asking God what He thinks I should paint on this bookmark for Trudy (she hosts the Bible study we attend on Tuesday evenings). Well the Lord had other plans for this bookmark. When He nudged me about it and who it was for; I was very apprehensive and said "Lord I have no idea how to paint a horse, are you kidding?" Why I doubt Him is beyond me. As you can see it came out beautiful—it is He who guides my hands and blesses me with this gift, talent and ability. You'd think I would learn after all this time wouldn't you. God is funny and I love Him more than words can ever express!

Many Blessings to all!

Monday, April 2, 2012

I love Spring! The smell of fresh air, new growth poking up through the dirt, and beautiful blossoms! I love to sit out on our porch in the early morning with a hot cup of coffee, taking in the cool morning air, the chirping birds and magnificent sunrises. It gives me an indescribable inner peace and satisfies my soul.

With spring arriving early I couldn't resist painting another snowman, but this one is shocked to see his shadow and the puddle of water at his base. He realizes Spring has come and he is melting away.

Enjoy your day!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Do I dare say I think spring is coming early . . . maybe, just maybe. It is 55 degrees in western PA today, unusual for the beginning of March. I certainly am loving it. Can't wait to sit outside in the early am with my coffee and listen to the bird's wake up chirp.

I have something important to share with you today about a website that feeds the hungry—it is amazing! If you are an artist I recommend you check it out and participate, if you just enjoy art you can purchase art for a reasonable donation and feed the starving. The site is: eat-art.org. Please support this wonderful effort!

Friday, January 13, 2012

We are having our first significant snow storm today and it is really blowing and cold . . . burrrrrrrr! Not used to the cold temperatures. The weather has been fairly warm for this time of the year with temps running about 40 to 45 degrees. It sure is beautiful outside my studio window; snow blowing and pretty winter birds fluttering about the feeders.

I finished a painting this morning titled "first snow fall," with a pair of cardinals on a snow covered spruce branch which is for my best friend's aunt as a surprise birthday present.